OTTAWA, CANADA ― 2017 marks a significant milestone for the Micronutrient Initiative (MI), as the organization celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Created in 1992 as Canada’s response to malnutrition following the World Summit for Children, MI has grown from a three-person Secretariat based at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to a leading global nutrition organization with offices in 10 countries around the world.
Many of MI’s accomplishments over the years have had a major impact on improving nutrition around the world. Here are a few highlights:
- MI has been a key driver in the fight against vitamin A and iodine deficiencies. Since 1998, over 4 million children’s lives around the world have been saved thanks to vitamin A, of which MI ensures 75% of the world’s supply. Through its salt iodization programs, MI has been a major contributor to global efforts to ensure at least 70% of households worldwide have access to iodized salt ― protecting millions of newborns from mental impairment.
- Through a combination of innovative approaches, including double fortified salt and proven interventions such as flour fortification, MI has improved the iron intake of millions of vulnerable people, especially women and girls, for whom anaemia can have devastating health impacts.
- In the last five years alone, MI, through the Zinc Alliance for Child Health (ZACH) has helped treat more than 44 million episodes of childhood diarrhoea among children under five ― helping them recover faster, resist the disease for longer periods and have fewer episodes per year.
- MI has become a leader in surveillance, research and evaluation ― and has informed the development of policies and the implementation of effective nutrition programs worldwide.
- MI has played a leading role in elevating nutrition globally through advocacy work, and involvement in and support to international initiatives such as the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement.
- In the last two years, MI has launched two new business models to scale up nutrition, as well as Right Start, a multi-faceted initiative to improve nutrition for 100 million women and adolescent girls, and has been a key driver in the development and implementation of several other major global nutrition projects, including PINKK, ENRICH and FFP.
The 25th anniversary will be celebrated all year long through special events, digital communications activities and more.
To discover more about MI’s achievements over the past 25 years, visit our interactive timeline.
Statement from MI President and CEO Joel Spicer on the 25th anniversary
“Nutrition holds the key to unlocking the human potential of millions of people, especially women, adolescent girls and children. It is the difference between attending school and learning there, between giving birth to a child and giving her life, and between fighting a disease and surviving it.
MI was created as an act of solidarity with malnourished people and has grown from a small Canadian start-up into a global nutrition organization reaching 500 million vulnerable people every year. As we reach our 25th anniversary and reflect on the lives we have changed, we are proud of Canada’s longstanding leadership and commitment to nutrition globally.
We know there is much to be done, and that there remains great need – but we are also excited about the road ahead, and by the potential there is to transform the status quo for the world’s most vulnerable – not for profit, or power – but because it is the right thing to do for our fellow human beings.”
-MI President and CEO, Joel Spicer